Tarnawa Gives Weld First Cup Victory With Late-Running Turf Triumph

With jockey Christophe Soumillon taken off his second winning mount of the day after testing positive for COVID-19, substitute rider Colin Keane guided the 4-year-old Irish-bred Shamardal filly Tarnawa to a stretch-running victory over Magical, the 2-1 favorite, in Saturday’s $4-million, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

The win gave globe-trotting Irish trainer Dermot Weld his first Breeders’ Cup victory from his 17th starter. The Aga Khan homebred finished a length to the good of the 5-year-old Galileo mare Magical and jockey Ryan Moore, with pacesetter Channel Maker finishing third, another half-length back and 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Lord North. They were followed across the line by Mogul, Arklow, Mehdaayih, United, Red King and Donjah.

Time for 1 1/2 miles was 2:28.02 on firm turf after fractions of :25.57, :51.06, 1:15.99, 1:40.52 and 2:04.45.

Tarnawa, the third choice in the wagering, paid $11.40 to win.

This was the third victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf for the Aga Khan, having won the inaugural running in 1984 with Lashkari and again in 2000 with Kalanisi. Tarnawa, produced from the Cape Cross mare Tarana, is the fifth generation of mares bred by Aga Khan Studs.

Tarnawa is the third filly in the last six years to win the Turf, following in the footsteps of Found in 2015 at Keeneland and Enable in the 2018 running at Churchill Downs. Distaffers Pebbles in 1985 and MIss Alleged in 1991 were earlier winners.

Tarnawa, who was winning for the eighth time in 14 career starts, was coming off a neck victory over Alpine Star in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Oct. 4. Before that she won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille by three lengths at the Paris, France, track. She began her 2020 campaign with a victory in a Group contest in her native Ireland at Cork.

Soumillon rode Tarnawa to her two  recent French victories but tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival in Kentucky. He lost the mount on Order of Australia in the G1 Mile for Aidan O’Brien and that horse was ridden to a 73-1 upset victory by Pierre Charles Boudot.

Keane allowed Tarnawa to settle near the back of the pack, ahead of only Donjah  and Mogul in the early running as Channel Maker carved out uncontested fractions. He asked the filly to commence her rally going into the far turn and she began circling the field. She rallied extremely wide into the stretch and had clear sailing for the final three-sixteenths of a mile on the far outside, passing Channel Maker in the final furlong and drawing away for the win.

“Pretty straightforward to be honest,” said Keane, leading jockey in Ireland this year. “Mr. (Dermot) Weld said get her out the gates and ride her as you find her. I spoke to Oisin Orr (who had ridden her previously) and he said she’s very straightforward. We just tipped away down the back straight then we got going before the bend then off she went. We got a clean run then and she was very good to the line.” 

Comments from other Turf participants:

 Second-place jockey Ryan Moore (Magical (IRE)) – “It wasn’t the result we were looking for, but we have to take it.”  

Third-place trainer Bill Mott (Channel Maker) – “He ran lights out. He ran a huge race. Magical beat us a nose and she’s a good filly.” 

Third-place jockey Manny Franco (Channel Maker) – “My horse gave me a nice race. He was fighting the whole way and in the stretch, too. When they came to him, he kept giving it to me, but those other two horses were better today.”

Sixth-place trainer Brad Cox (Arklow) – “The Euros obviously brought a strong hand this year. They showed that several races prior to this one, and they showed up again. They brought a good group this year. He was (in good position). He may have been pulling a touch. That’s probably what happens when you put blinkers on a horse. But overall I thought he tried. I thought he ran hard, just wasn’t up to par with this group overall. Saved all the ground.”

Sixth-place jockey Florent Geroux (Arklow) – “Yeah, he was in a good position. The pace was very slow and he was just pulling very hard on me all the way. It’s not ideal. My arms are numb.”

Eighth-place trainer Richard Mandella (United) – “He took an awkward step (approaching the quarter pole). He didn’t recover from it, it didn’t look like so I’m going to hustle back to the barn. He looks O.K. there walking off, but I’m going to get back there and take a good look.” 

The post Tarnawa Gives Weld First Cup Victory With Late-Running Turf Triumph appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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